Walmart+? More like Walmart-

Walmart Plus (W+) is Walmart’s first and recent attempt to provide additional services through a subscription. It Walmart’s response to Amazon Prime (AP). Walmart is owned by Walton Enterprises (WE), who also own Sam’s Club. Sam’s Club is WE’s response against Costco, both of which are large warehouses that require a membership to enter (the membership pays for itself, since items in warehouses are sold in bulk, and thus cheaper). Despite that W+ is supposed to be Walmart’s response against AP, it is not even close to functionality. The only 3 perks that are provided are: “Unlimited free delivery”, “Scan and go”, and fuel discounts. Out of all these, the only perk that sounds useful to me is scan and go, which is on the Walmart app.

Sam’s Club app’s scan and go allows you to simply scan items (you can scan them in rapid succession with a multiscan option), and walk right out the store after presenting your digital receipt to the door person. Simple and deadly efficient. Walmart’s scan and go however, disappoints. For now, you can only scan one item at a time, and once you’re finished scanning, you can’t just walk out of the store. The app will present you with a QR code that must be scanned at a self checkout terminal; the convenience of the scan and go feature is completely nullified, as you would have to wait in line like everyone else, which is a big deal, because I was hoping to use scan and go to skip ridiculously large lines. The other 2 perks, fuel discounts and unlimited free delivery, aren’t of much use to me; it’s better to have a membership at Costco or Sam’s Club for the gas alone, as they will always be substantially cheaper than any other options in the vicinity.

What’s described as “unlimited free delivery” doesn’t have much impact on me either, since most items on a free Walmart account already have good shipping options, provided you spend more than $35 on a single order. The price for W+ is currently $98 annually, which isn’t much cheaper than Amazon Prime, and is more expensive than a basic Costco/Sam’s Club membership. With only 3 underwhelming perks, W+ is simply not worth anyone’s money right now. It may be wishful thinking to hope that they give more perks, like maybe making scan and go actually useful, allowing the checkout of alcoholic beverages at self checkout (or a “fast pass” in non self checkout lines for alcohol), and priority parking. As I’m writing this, I also hope they don’t make certain free features, such as Walmart’s nifty Walmart Pay and free samples W+ only perks.

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